An Old Man Remembers Love, (and You’ll Want to Read It)

I made the mistake of introducing myself to Philip Roth by reading one his later work. Indignation, a 2008 novel, drew on some of Roth’s familiar themes—Jewish identity, American identity, relationships—but it had none of the spark I was hoping for. It felt like an older man’s attempt to imagine himself back into first love. […]

The Evil and The Magnificent: Katherine James’ Story of Love and Addiction

There are so many ways that a story of addiction can go wrong, especially when it is narrated within a framework of fall and redemption. On one level, the stories are so similar that we feel we can trace the arc before opening the cover—the prelapsarian idyll, the first hints of trouble, the descent into […]

Saying Goodbye to Twitter Me: A Review of The Problem with Everything

For me, it happens when I go to the Twitter feed after some recent ‘problematic’ event or statement has hit the news. Immediately the folks I have chosen to follow, ‘influencers’ among them, stoke the little fires of irritation I might have felt and before long lure me into the Twitter-sanctioned indignation I should be […]

#1 (& a Recap): The Heartlands Best Reads of 2019

Suzannah Lessard’s The Absent Hand: Reimagining Our American Landscape is the perfect Heartlands read. In this collection of essays, the veteran writer and observer lays bare what we have done to the land in the shift to the digital age. Lessard’s writing is beautiful and her thesis is strong–whereas the created landscapes we live in have […]